Letters

Letters to the editor dated December 16, 2020

| Updated on December 16, 2020 Published on December 16, 2020

Farmers’ agitation

Apropos ‘Are the farmers’ protests justified?’ (December 16), the ongoing farmer’s agitation which is claimed to be conducted for the benefit of 100 million famers of India is actually for the good of just two lakh rich farmers mostly based in Punjab. This is the group which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo — that is, farmers sell their produce through APMCs at a price determined by them.

The new farm laws allow the farmers to sell their produce at a lucrative price to anyone of their choice including APMCs. Various studies have established that APMC markets are highly exploitative, middlemen dominated and do not help farmers get remunerative prices. The margins of middlemen vary from 2 per cent to 60 per cent.

As for the apprehension about abolition of MSP, it is no longer an economic problem. It has become a political tool to appease the peasant voters. Which party will commit political hara kiri by eliminating it?

YG Chouksey

Pune

The scourge of malnutrition

This is with reference to ‘Emaciated generation’ (December 16). Since the survey captures pre-Covid data, it is all the more worrying. The pandemic has worsened unemployment, poverty and hunger. It is disheartening to know that even the more prosperous States like Maharashtra and Karnataka have such a poor record in terms of child nutrition.

The country’s economic potential can never be realised if we continue to neglect this critical need of our children. The government needs to undertake a thorough analysis as what has gone wrong and how fast to plug the gaps. It also needs to look into midday meal schemes which provide free food to millions of poor children in schools across the country.

Bal Govind

Noida

Loan repayment

This refers to ‘With collections yet to reach pre-Covid levels, banks keep a tab on repayments’ (December 16). As the revival of jobs and income flows to the employed/self-employed are under pressure due to the impact of the pandemic, the payback flow to the banking sector is going to remain muted. A rise in the growth of defaults in retail loan segments is looming large. The value of the underlying assets of loans barring loans against dwellings and land is also depleting, which will pave the way for growing cost on account of retail credit, resulting in a drag on profitability.

Since income flows to the retail borrowers are key to the repayments collections of lenders, hastening economic activities in all segments of the economy is crucial and, therefore, the government has to ensure that the stimulus packages in force are delivering the intended goals. Lenders have to recognise the present cash availability of the retail borrowers and focus on those borrowers who are now capable of servicing the loans.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry, Kerala

Caution in festive season

Christmas and New Year are just around the corner. Given the urge to celebrate and the relief from the decline in cases and casualties, many among us could become inclined to cast caution to the winds and relax the rigour of precautions needed to be taken in this pandemic time. But wise counsel dictates that we should stay safe and be content with ‘doing the minimum possible’ in this holiday season. Responsible behaviour induced by a sense of self-preservation and altruism is still needed to protect ourselves and others from the scourge. Health and safety concerns should override the pleasures of festivities.

If visiting families and friends becomes indispensable it must happen in “bubbles” that are as small as possible. The flattening of the curves does not mean the pathogen is not there.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, TN

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

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Published on December 16, 2020
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